Backpacking In The Sleeping Bear Dunes

I was backpacking in the Sleeping Bear Dunes. It was March, so when I made it through the woods and over the dunes, I’d have miles of beach to myself. It was an over-nighter, a chance to test new ultralight backpacking equipment. I hiked the wooded hills quickly, enjoying the cold air.

Halfway through the forest, I stopped to cook noodles. The cheap 3-ounce pot was from a dollar store, and it worked fine. I was happy, because from the catalog descriptions, the expensive titanium pots are all heavier, probably because they’re too thick and with too many gadgets.

I had to use a small twig-fire when my homemade alcohol stove didn’t provide enough heat. I later learned that isopropyl alcohol doesn’t burn as hot as the alcohol used for a gas additive, but the twigs worked in any case.

Backpacking On The Beach

After eating, I hiked to Lake Michigan, and sat up on a large sand dune. I watched the waves push ice up onto the empty beach. Coyotes began to howl in the distance, and the clouds rolled in. I was on the beach looking for petoskey stones when the snow began. Backpacking in March has its risks.

I was in running shoes, and it would be below freezing that night. In northern Michigan, March is definitely part of winter. My feet stayed warm while I hiked, but I hadn’t planned on them getting wet. At least I had a pair of warm, dry socks for sleeping.

Ultralight Backpacking Equipment

It was the first time I used my GoLite Breeze backpack, which weighed only 13 ounces. I was hiking with about nine pounds on my back, and that only because I threw in some canned food. I was going light, but I knew the forests here and felt comfortable with my abilities.

My down sleeping bag was a 17-ounce Western Mountaineering HighLite. It was the first time I would use it below freezing (It hit 25 degrees fahrenheit that night). Fortunately, it wasn’t too windy.

At the edge of the forest, behind the dunes, I set up my small tarp. I piled pine needles and dead bracken ferns under it, finishing just as it became dark. This made a warm mattress, and I slept well, listening to the coyotes, and to the waves pushing ice around in the lake.

In the morning I was happy to see only a dusting of snow. My one-pound sleeping bag had been warmer than my three-pounder – and I thought that was light. I poured alcohol in the cut-off bottom of a pepsi can (my 1/2-ounce backpacking stove) and made tea. After some crackers I was soon hiking in my mostly-dry shoes, along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Backpacking Lessons Learned

I ended my trip that afternoon, with a hike to the village of Empire, seven miles away. I was mostly satisfied. Only two problems: My tarp was too small, and the alcohol I brought was the wrong type.

After backpacking in Michigan for years, I know it well. I know where to find dead grass and bracken ferns, for example, to make a warm mattress in a few minutes. Knowledge, obviously, can be as valuable as expensive backpacking gear.

Applying Mineral Makeup Correctly For the Best Effect

Mineral makeup is something which you should invest your money in, although its application does need more attention and time. You can get that perfect look you want by following some simple tips.

Mineral makeup is here and it looks like it is going to remain popular for quite a while. Whether you are going to be a first-time user of mineral makeup, or you’re a regular user, you need to know how to apply it. It might seem difficult at first and you might need to practice it for some time till you can be perfect at it. You need to know the correct tips and techniques to get the unblemished complexion you dream of.

Several mineral makeup brands will provide video or step-by-step instructions when you buy their products. If you are buying mineral makeup from a makeup counter or a store, you should ask for instructions from the salesperson on the way you should apply it. You should pay attention to the instructions given and learn the tips properly. Then you’ll notice the difference between mineral and normal makeup.

The Tools: Brushes
Based on whether you will be using mineral makeup as foundation or concealer, you will require a different brush to apply it.

A brush, usually referred to as the Kabuki brush, is what will give you the best results when it comes to applying mineral makeup as foundation. These are like the blush or powder brushes but have short and stubby handles and full and firm bristles. Mineral makeup is applied with a buffing movement so that the stubby short handle is easier to hold and move around while the full short bristles enable a coverage which is even.

In order to apply mineral makeup as a concealer, you can use your fingers to apply it (for areas which need more coverage or for under eye circles) or a concealer brush (narrow and firm bristles which have a rounded tip) in the under eye region or a lip brush (short bristles which taper at the tip) for blemishes around the nose.

There are brushes which are used for applying mineral makeup sold with the makeup itself, but the quality of the brushes can vary. You might have to try different Kabuki-style brushes to find out which one you like best. Brands such as L’Oreal and Neutrogena sell their mineral makeup products with built-in brushes so that it is easier to carry around and apply.

The Technique

As mineral makeup has a loose powder texture, you might want to just dab it on your face like you would with loose powder, but you should not do that. Mineral makeup is a lot less translucent than loose powder and it is meant to be applied as foundation, so you have to apply it in moderation and build it in stages in order to have the prefect flawless look.

Assorted Tips For Business Travelers

Our web community of business flight attendants is always thinking of ways to make traveling easier. You have to when your job takes you away from home base for several weeks at a time! The following tips are for business as well as leisure travelers.

1. Ring Around the Collar Dirty neck rings around shirt or blouse collars can be removed by putting shampoo on them. Rub the
shampoo in as if you were washing your hair. Shampoo is specifically made to remove body oils the “ingredient” of neck rings.

2. Removing Gum You can pick up just about anything on the soles of your shoes. Removing gum can seem like one of the most difficult things to do. The solution? Rub ice on the gum to harden it and then use a dull knife to remove the gum. The gum will come right off without damaging your soles.

3. Killing Flies Are there flying insects in your hotel room? Hair spray will kill flies and most other insects.

4. Drying Out Wet Magazines or Books Place paper towels on both sides of a wet page to absorb the moisture and prevent wrinkling.

5. Lingering Onion or Fish Smells on Hands Can’t get rid of onion or fish smells on your hands? Wet them, sprinkle them generously with salt, and rinse.

Are You A Victim Of Telemarketing Travel Fraud?

Have you ever been tempted to sign up to win a “free” trip at a fair, trade show or restaurant? If so, you may get a phone call, letter, unsolicited fax, email or postcard telling you that you’ve won a vacation. Be careful. It may be a “trip trap.” The vacation that you’ve “won” likely isn’t free. And the “bargain-priced” travel package you’re offered over the telephone or Internet may not fit your idea of luxury.

While some travel opportunities sold over the phone or offered through the mail, Internet or by fax are legitimate, many are scams that defraud consumers out of millions of dollars each month.

The word “offer” can be a clue to hidden charges. When you get the phone call, or place the call in response to a postcard, letter, fax or Internet ad, you also get a sales pitch for a supposedly luxurious trip – one that you could pay dearly for.

The salesperson may ask for your credit card number to bill your account for the travel package. Once you pay, you receive the details of the “package,” which usually include instructions for making trip reservation requests. Your request often must be accompanied by yet another fee. In addition, many offers require you to pay upgrade costs to receive the actual destinations, accommodations, cruises or dates you were promised. Some offers may require you to pay more for port charges, hotel taxes or service fees.

See a pattern developing? New charges are being added every step of the way. You may never get your “bargain” trip because your reservations may not be confirmed or because you must comply with hard-to-meet hidden or expensive “conditions.”

Telemarketing travel scams usually originate out of “boiler rooms.” Skilled salespeople, often with years of experience selling dubious products and services over the phone, pitch travel packages that may sound legitimate, but often are not. These pitches usually include:

Oral Misrepresentations. Particular schemes vary, but all fraudulent telemarketers promise you a “deal” they can’t possibly deliver. Unfortunately, you won’t know it until your money’s gone.

High Pressure/Time Pressure Tactics. Scam operators often say they need your commitment to buy immediately or that the offer won’t be available much longer. They typically brush aside questions or concerns with vague answers or assurances.

“Affordable” Offers. Unlike fraudulent telemarketers who try to persuade people to spend thousands of dollars on an investment scheme, fraudulent travel telemarketers usually pitch club membership or vacation offers in a lower price range. The offers sound reasonable and are designed to appeal to anyone who is looking for a getaway.

Contradictory Follow-up Material. Some companies may agree to send you written confirmation of your deal. However, it usually bears little resemblance to the offer you accepted over the phone. The written materials often disclose additional terms, conditions and costs.

How To Protect Yourself

Unpleasant surprises can ruin a vacation, especially when they cost money. That’s why it pays to investigate a travel package before you buy. But it can be difficult to tell a legitimate sales pitch from a fraudulent one. Consider these travelers’ advisories:
Be wary of “great deals” and low-priced offers. Few legitimate businesses can afford to give away products and services of real value or substantially undercut other companies’ prices.

Don’t be pressured into buying. A good offer today usually will be a good offer tomorrow. Legitimate businesses don’t expect you to make snap decisions.
Ask detailed questions. Find out exactly what the price covers and what it doesn’t. Ask about additional charges. Get the names of the hotel, airports, airlines and restaurants included in your package. Consider contacting these businesses directly to verify arrangements. Ask about cancellation policies and refunds. If the salesperson can’t give you detailed answers, hang up.

If you decide to buy, find out the name of the travel provider – the company that is getting your reservations and tickets. This company usually is not the telemarketer.
Get all information in writing before you agree to buy. Once you receive the written information, make sure it reflects what you were told over the phone and the terms you agreed to.

Don’t buy part of the package – the air fare or hotel stay – separately from the rest. If the deal is not what you expected, it may be difficult to get your money back for the part of the package you purchased.

Don’t give your credit card number or bank information over the phone unless you know the company. One easy way for a scam operator to close a deal is to get your credit card number and charge your account. Sometimes fraudulent telemarketers say they need the number for verification purposes only. Don’t believe them.

Don’t send money by messenger or overnight mail. Some scam artists may ask you to send them a check or money order immediately. Others may offer to send a messenger to pick up your payment. If you pay with cash or a check, rather than a credit card, you lose your right to dispute fraudulent charges under the Fair Credit Billing Act. If you charged your trip to a credit card, you may dispute the charges by writing to your credit card issuer at the address provided for billing disputes. If possible, do this as soon as you receive your statement. In any case, the law gives you up to 60 days after the bill’s statement date to dispute the charge.

Check out the company before you buy. Contact the Attorney General in your state or where the company is located to see if any complaints have been lodged against the travel firm or the travel provider. Be aware that fraudulent businesses often change their names to avoid detection.

Reading the Clouds: Weather Watching

In California, late harvest time for the most part means the way to Pacific tempests begins swinging totally open, conveying snow to the high nation. Despite where you live, climate influences your day by day life, however is particularly critical for individuals who invest energy outside. Normally, skiers and other winter-sports fans will listen to the most recent climate reports before they make a beeline for the high nation. Yet, once they are out skimming over the gem cover or climbing in possibly foul climate, they might not have a radio or TV or solid PDA benefit accessible to keep an eye on that tempest the forecasters said was coming.
Be that as it may, moving toward tempests give insights of their approaching landing in minimum a few hours ahead. The accompanying guides can help disentangle those intimations:
As the title proposes, this book is about more than climate determining. As every one of the books in the Peterson Field Guide Series, its main role is ID – for this situation, mists, rainbows, glories, haloes, and other climatic wonders. For this, it has various drawings, in addition to 336 high contrast and 32 shading photos.
Since the environment isn’t quite recently something to recognize, additionally is a regularly changing framework to watch, the book commits much space to talking about the procedures at work in the sea of air. It is as much for the skier who thinks about how a high, frosty cirrus cloud can give the sun a radiance as it is for the backwoods snow camper who needs to know whether he’ll need to uncover his way from underneath his tent the following morning.
The subtitle to this book is “The Sierra Club Guide to Practical Meteorology.” It is composed in light of the open air recreationist. The initial segment of the book is a fundamental course in the whys and wherefores of winds and tempests. Quite compelling to the eventual forecaster is a table that shows how distinctive climate conditions – weight (for which you’ll require an altimeter/indicator to gauge) wind, mists, precipitation, temperature, moistness, and perceivability – change as frontal frameworks approach and pass. Unexpectedly the section on “Climate Hazards”, particularly its discourse of wind chill, hypothermia, and torrential slides ought to be quite compelling to the skier.